University Art Museum
Well/Being: An Exhibition on Healing and Repair
August 4 - December 11, 2021
Artists, Installation Views, Public Programs, About

Panteha Abareshi

8mm frame film still of a person with blonde dreadlocks in white dress in front of a window
Panteha Abareshi, For Medical Use Only, 2019, 8mm and hi8 film transferred to video, 6:36; color, sound, courtesy of the artist [ image description: 8mm frame film still of a person with blonde dreadlocks in white dress in front of a window]

In Panteha Abareshi’s two videos in this exhibition, she addresses her life with sickle cell zero beta thalassemia, a blood disorder that causes debilitating pain and bodily deterioration. We see her trying to maintain a sense of self amidst constant and depersonalized medical monitoring. “Being in hospital for as far back as I can remember, my condition has informed my conceptions of body and self,” the artist writes. The isolating experience of living with a chronically ill body in combination with the artist’s personal notions of gender, racial, and sexual identity makes her “fully immersed in otherness.” Pushing back against the lack of representation around these topics, especially disability and chronic illness, Abareshi has said, “There is a real expectation by the public to find some superficial positivity within the disabled experience, a portrayal that follows notions of empowerment or emancipation. … People want that kind of message because it means they can stop being critical of their own relationships to illness.”

Panteha Abareshi

Born in 1999 in Montreal, Quebec. Lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Selected solo exhibitions include Tender Calamities at Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California (2021) and The Girl Who Loves Roses at Larrie, NYC in New York, New York (2017). Selected group exhibitions include Shape Arts in London, United Kingdom (2020) and Fuller Rosen Gallery in Portland, Oregon (2020­­–21).

Abareshi has led conversations at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California (2020) and she is a recipient of the LANDxAIR artist residency in Los Angeles, California (2021). She has been featured in publications such as Hyperallergic, gal-dem, Bitch, Girlboss Magazine, Juxtapoz, and Teen Vogue. 

Abareshi received a B.F.A. from the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art & Design in Los Angeles, California in 2021, and is an M.F.A. candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California, 2023.